Malaria in Africa Could Complicate COVID-19 Diagnosis

(Source: Moneyweb)

Malaria in Africa is still a significant problem and may make it more difficult to diagnosis COVID-19 if it begins to spread in the region. The first case of the coronavirus was diagnosed in Lagos about a week ago and three more cases have been confirmed in Senegal and South Africa.

Malaria and the coronavirus have similar initial symptoms, including body aches which may make it difficult to diagnose early on. Additionally, health experts are not certain how the coronavirus will react with malaria or HIV, two prevalent diseases in Africa.

In 2017, malaria caused around 400,000 deaths in Africa. After a decline, the cases of malaria have been rising since 2015 with 25% of cases occurring in Nigeria. A vaccine developed by GlaxoSmithKline, a PQMD member, was piloted in Africa last year.

Because COVID-19 seems to be more critical to people with underlying conditions, it could impact Africa more due to malnourishment, malaria and other infectious diseases in the region.